Make Personal Development a Priority

Posted On: July 18

Excerpted from The Path to a Meaningful Life by Frank Sonnenberg.

People often do things that come back to bite them.

Examples include living an unhealthy lifestyle, craving instant gratification, living on the edge, shooting from the hip, and playing helpless victim rather than accepting personal responsibility. What’s worse, such folks are not interested in addressing bad habits or furthering their personal development. Instead, they’re like a plane stuck in a holding pattern — repeating their behavior over and over again. In fact, if you try to offer guidance, forget it, they’re likely to tune you out or shut you down. It’s sad that the people who should listen the most are often the ones least likely to do so.

For some folks, personal growth isn’t a priority.

They refuse to learn from mistakes; they shun personal feedback like it’s the plague; and they pass up every opportunity to learn from books, blogs, seminars, or podcasts because they say they don’t have the time (or should I say, won’t make the time) to grow as individuals. They refuse to put in the hard work, accept the personal sacrifice, or make the commitment to better themselves. Instead, they find it easier to complain or to play poor victim instead of rolling up their sleeves. But that’s their choice — and choices have consequences.

The first step in winning is the willingness to try.


10 Common Habits That Stunt Personal Growth

The one who might be holding you back is you. Here are 10 common habits that stunt personal growth:

  1. Lack of desire. If you want to get anywhere, you have to start
  2. If you don’t try, you have no one to blame except yourself. When you do nothing, nothing happens.
  3. If you’re not willing to make the commitment, don’t complain about the outcome.
  4. Procrastination. If you don’t start, you’ll never finish.
  5. Close-mindedness. It’s hard to see the light with your eyes squeezed shut.
  6. Being self-destructive. If you tell yourself you’re a failure, you’ll ultimately convince yourself.
  7. If you believe you can’t, you won’t.
  8. If you think you know everything, you’ll assume there’s nothing more to know.
  9. Victim mindset. If you make yourself out to be a victim, you’ll become one.
  10. Bad attitude. The more you complain, the less time you have to be productive.


12 Powerful Ways to Stimulate Personal Development

  1. Believe in yourself. Be positive. If you believe you can…you will.
  2. Make an effort. The first step in bettering yourself is having the willingness to try.
  3. Make personal growth a high priority. If you don’t give personal development the attention it deserves, you’ll allow yourself to get distracted by other pressing issues.
  4. Stop procrastinating. No time is ever convenient. Start today.
  5. Accept responsibility. Don’t wait to be spoon-fed; feed yourself. Take charge of your personal development rather than outsourcing it to others.
  6. Get better and be better. Focus your effort on improving your knowledge, skills, experience, mindset, and moral character.
  7. Make the investment. Everything worthwhile in life requires commitment and an element of sacrifice.
  8. Keep this in mind. Learning is as much an attitude as it is an activity.
  9. Welcome feedback. View personal feedback as an opportunity to better yourself rather than as criticism or a cause for embarrassment.
  10. Buck the status quo. Try something new. Be open to change. Accept failure as part of the learning process.
  11. Make it your job. If you’re not learning on the job, you’re losing out. Money is only one form of compensation.
  12. Strive for continuous improvement. Learning is a journey, not a destination.


Personal Development Isn’t a Checkoff Item

Personal development shouldn’t be a checkoff item that you “force” yourself to do a couple of times a year. It requires a conscious effort to better yourself every day. Personal Development will never be urgent — unless you make it so. It will never be convenient, but that shouldn’t stop you. And the benefit may not be visible right away. But I can assure you that every step forward is a step in the right direction. The only thing standing in your way of becoming the best you can be is the desire, willingness, and commitment to make the effort. It’s your choice. Say “yes” to knowing and being more, or you’ll never know what you’re missing.

Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author and a well-known advocate for moral character, personal values, and personal responsibility. He has written nine books and has been named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders” and one of “America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts.” Frank has served on several boards and has consulted to some of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Frank’s newest book, The Path to a Meaningful Life, was released June 14, 2022.
Additionally, his blog — FrankSonnenbergOnline — has attracted millions of readers on the Internet. It was recently named one of the “Top Self-Improvement and Personal Development Blogs” in the world, and it continues to be named among the “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs,” the “Top 100 Socially-Shared Leadership Blogs,” and the “Best Inspirational Blogs On the Planet.”

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